Two key events are being staged to mark the Centenary of Passchendaele – what the history books refer to as the Third Battle of Ypres - in July. A special Last Post ceremony is being held at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper. The ceremony is held every evening. What will make the Last Post ceremony on 30 July so special?
On 30 July 2017, on the eve of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres, an intimate service will be held under the CWGC's Menin Gate Memorial. This provides an opportunity to reflect upon the history and significance of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, and for the UK to express its profound gratitude to the Belgian people for the long years this special tribute has been made to our fallen. It is a poignant moment that will be made all the more special by the presence of families of the soldiers who served on the Ypres Salient. Members of the public will also be able to watch this event on large screens in the nearby Market Square.
Afterwards Ieper's Market Square will come alive with storytelling, live performance and projections onto the city's iconic Cloth Hall, telling the story of the war on the Ypres Salient. This large scale event will be open to the public.
On 31 July Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in the world in relation to number of burials, is the focus of attention. What can we expect here?
The event will tell the story of the Third Battle of Ypres, coinciding with the centenary of the first day of the battle. The event will draw upon the established formal ceremonial of remembrance, military and cultural content, and the sense of place that comes from gathering at Tyne Cot Cemetery, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium in 1917, which is now the largest British and Commonwealth war cemetery in the world. The event will be attended by VIPs and invited guests - including descendants of those who served.
Places are limited, and tickets will be allocated via a public ballot. The ballot closes on 24 February, which is why it is important to enter now.
Who is eligible and how should people register?
There are two main events to commemorate Passchendaele. On 30 July members of the public will be able to attend a public and free of charge event at Ieper’s Market Square during which they will be able to watch on large screens the intimate service at the Menin Gate and live performances taking place in the Square. Those wishing to attend must register at https://passchendaele100.org/ieper-market-square/.
On 31 July, there will be an event taking place at the CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery for the descendants of those who fought in battle and those with a personal connection to the battle. To attend, interested parties must apply for tickets through the public ballot, again at: www.passchendaele100.org.